Death doom can often be hit or miss for me, but I was a big fan of Hooded Menace’s last album, Darkness Drips Forth, which seemed to be a little light on the “death”—except in the vocal department. I’d be perfectly happy if they followed a similar path on this one.
An ossuarium is a vault full of dead bones, and sure enough, there’s already a death metal band with that moniker. Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed opens slowly and ominously with “Sempiternal Grotesqueries,” the longest song on here at 10-and-a-half minutes. With that said, it’s not all doom and gloom, as they shift to mid-tempo death metal a couple minutes in. Much like the previous album, there are also some pretty potent melodic doom riffs around the midway mark, before they shift back to the zombie stomp.
“In Eerie Deliverance” crashes and bashes right off the bat, still rather slow but leaning more toward death metal. Once again, there are a few tempo changes and some more melodic riffs, along with a spoken-word passage that doesn’t quite cut through the mix. “Cathedral of Labyrinthine Darkness” hits like a ten-ton hammer, the slowest, sludgiest offering to date. I don’t mind when they play a bit faster, but this is a dish best served slow.
There are just a couple more cuts on this one, with “Cascade of Ashes” serving up a great melodic riff along with some harsh vocal screams, standing on equal footing with its predecessor in the depression department. And “Charnel Reflections” might even kick it up a notch, combining a vaguely Vitusean downtempo riff with an effective low-pitched gurgle and a near-perfect transition to a mid-paced trad-metal attack.
This record might not have grabbed me as much as their last one did at first, but it ends on a strong note.